Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture by J. Russell Smith is a classic book on agroforestry that was first published in 1929. Despite being nearly a century old, the book remains relevant and influential today. It is widely regarded as a seminal work in the field of agroforestry.
One of the key themes in Part 1 of the book. which focuses on the philosophy of tree crops, is the potential of tree crops to help combat soil erosion and land degradation. The author argues that conventional agriculture, with its emphasis on monoculture and intensive tillage, is unsustainable and damaging to the environment.
Smith advocates for the integration of trees into agricultural systems as a means of protecting soil and water resources, improving soil fertility, and diversifying farm income. This is a theme that is still relevant today, as more and more farmers around the world are turning to agroforestry as a means of building resilience and sustainability.
Another important theme of the book is the potential of tree crops to provide food for both people and livestock, and income for small-scale farmers. Smith emphasizes the importance of identifying and promoting tree crops that are suited to the needs and preferences of local communities.
- Smith, J. Russell (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 490 Pages – 10/17/2019 (Publication Date) – Orchard Innovations (Publisher)
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He argues that a diversity of tree crops can provide a stable source of income for farmers, reducing their reliance on commodity crops that are subject to market fluctuations. This is a message that is particularly important in the context of global food insecurity and rural poverty.
Overall, Tree Crops is a seminal work that has had a profound impact on the development of agroforestry as a sustainable agricultural practice. The book is well-written and engaging, with a wealth of information on the cultivation and management of tree crops.
While some of the information is outdated, particularly in relation to new technologies and research, the book remains an essential reference for anyone interested in agroforestry and sustainable agriculture. It is a must-read for modern homesteaders, farmers, researchers, and policymakers who are looking for practical solutions to the challenges of feeding a growing population while protecting the environment.
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